What do 90s grunge costumes, Customer Education, and coffee tours have in common? We’re glad you asked. Over 400 Customer Education experts just gathered in Seattle for the sixth annual Skilljar Connect event—a community that’s charisma and commitment to growth are simply unmatched.

From roundtable conversations, to the coveted Golden Skillet award ceremony, to lively bonding activities—the sheer volume of energy and learning was felt across every corner of each room. 

A Call to All Customer Educators: A Trained Customer is a Retained Customer

This year, we made sure there was a core focus our community has been searching for: driving impact with education. 

It was key that each Customer Education expert left Connect 2023 knowing (and deeply believing) in their power to educate, delight, and retain their hard-won customers.

With the state of the industry, we know the pressure to tie Customer Education programs to bottom-line business metrics is more prevalent than ever. As Skilljar has grown to help our customers reach 11+ million active learners with 27+ million learning hours, and 260+ thousand courses published, we know educators need more power over proving their value. 

We are in communication with our customers every single day, and over the last year a key theme has emerged loud and clear: The difference between teams that are thriving and teams that are facing cuts is the ability to demonstrate company-level business impact.

In challenging economic times, your customer base is your company’s lifeline—keeping them happy and engaged, and doing so with fewer resources is the key to long-term efficient growth.

And what has become increasingly clear is that in times when dollars are tight. Customer education teams need to be able to draw a direct line between themselves and business-level metrics like net revenue retention and reduced support costs. And the very good news is that if you can show that connection, additional investment will come your way. 

Connect Conversations to Walk Away With

This event has become the hub for Customer Education teams to hear the ins and outs across various topics (and have a little fun while they’re at it). Of course we sprinkled AI inspiration, diverse content strategies, and tips on scaling teams in the mix. Here are some of the topics taking place in panels, roundtables, venue elevators, and the city of Seattle:

    • Keynote: How AI is Transforming Customer Education
    • Keynote: Adapting Educational Content: Understanding the Science of Human Learning
    • Getting the Most Out of Your Education Program: Strategies for Impacting Goals Across Your Organization
    • Monetization Strategies to Meet and Exceed Revenue Targets
    • What Are Your Program’s Analytics Telling You? How to Grow, Pivot, or Shift Your Education Strategy
    • Taking Advantage of AI: The Benefits of AI for Your Education Program
    • Certified Success! How a Testing and Certification Program Builds a Community of Expert Users
    • Ensuring the Rubber Hits the “Right” Road: Align your Exams with your Organizational Philosophy
    • Using Customer Education to Personalize the Customer Experience: From Onboarding to Growing Your Customer Base
    • Beating Budget Cuts: Transforming Education into a Strategic Asset
    • Building a Diversified Training Program that Drives Engagement: Why One Form of Training is Not Enough
    • Meeting The Needs of Your Business: Proving How Your Education Program is Impacting Overall Business Goals
    • Skilljar Product Vision & Roadmap

And of course…who could forget the 90s grunge-themed celebration party?

How Skilljar is Building for the Future for Customer Educators with AI Product Innovation

The future needs of Skilljar customers has always been core to the product roadmap—and this year was no different. In our closing product vision sneak-peak, we unveiled major milestones that will help customers act on what they learned at Connect. Let’s just say, the crowd was captivated. 

Skilljar will use Generative AI to help with course content creation, starting with tools that suggest course short descriptions, learning objectives, and quiz questions based on your existing course content. Users have the option to opt in or out, depending on their information security policies, and can review, edit, and customize AI-generated suggestions, to maintain control over their content.

The initial Skilljar AI features, focused on course descriptions, learning objectives and quiz questions, will soon be in beta, marking an exciting development in the use of AI in education.

Now, for the Highlight Real: Our Must-Celebrate Golden Skillet Winners 

Each year, the joy and need for celebration can’t be overlooked. We have cutting-edge champions and customers that deserve the highest level of celebration: meet the Golden Skillet Award. 

Over the years, we’ve come to call Skilljar employees “Skillets.” And we decided at our very first Skilljar Connect conference five years ago that there was no better way to honor the top Customer Education programs for their innovation, impact, and success than by presenting them with an actual golden skillet in the following categories:

While we highly suggest winners do not use them for cooking, we do make sure they share them on their desks, shelves, and in as many glamor shots as possible. 

The categories (and their winners) include:

  • Impact Award: Recognizes programs that have set and achieved ambitious corporate business goals and are well-appreciated for their impact on the business
    • Winners: Paycor, Jamf, and Bluebeam
  • Innovation in Customer Education: Honors training programs demonstrating innovation, thought leadership, and industry-wide contributions
    • Winners: Zapier, LinkedIn Marketing Labs, and Planet
  • Success in Practice: Recognizes programs that have achieved a remarkable milestone using Skilljar
    • Winners: Visier, AuditBoard, and Muck Rack
  • Rising Star: Recognizes programs that have recently implemented and within the first year achieved program goals and made an impact on their business.
    • Winners: Source Intelligence, Reltio, and Stripe
  • Education Expo People’s Choice: Each year at Connect, our Education Expo gives attendees a chance to learn directly from education and training experts in a variety of industries. The People’s Choice Award is voted 100% by Connect attendees and awarded to one of the Expo presenters.
    • Winner: ChurnZero

Want a deep-dive on what makes these programs stand out? Watch The Champion’s Edge: 4 Award-Winning Customer Education Playbooks Unveiled.

Until We Connect Again

Appreciation is an understatement—the value of face-to-face collaboration, celebration, and continuous learning is invaluable. We’re deeply grateful to everyone who contributed, and let’s keep connecting.